Visit Cruden Bay and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire. The ancestral home of the earls of Erroll, the “new” or second Slains Castle, stands in ruins on a cliff-top to the North of the village.
It was at this castle that Johnson and Boswell stayed on the 24th of August 1773. “Mr Johnson”, records Boswell, “said the prospect here was the noblest he had ever seen — better than Mount Edgcumbe, reckoned the first in England.”
The “new” Stains Castle began to be built at Bowness on the Bay of Cruden in 1597, when Francis Hay, the 9th Earl of Erroli, returned from exile after the Rising of the Catholic earls at Slams. “The watts of one of the towers,”, wrote Dr Johnson in his melodiously Augustan prose, “seem only a continuation of a perpendicular rock, the foot of which is beaten by the waves . . . I would not for my amusement wish for a storm, but as storms, whether wished for or not, wilt sometimes happen, I may say without violation of humanity, that I would willingly look out upon them from Slams Castle.” But the Grand Cham's enthusiasm did not end there. Let Boswell tell what followed: “We got into the coach and drove to Dunbuy, a rock near the shore, just an island covered with seafowl. Then to a circular basin of large extent, surrounded with tremendous rocks. The place is called the Bullers of Buchan. . . . We walked round this monstrous cauldron. In some places the rock is very narrow, and on each side you have a sea deep enough for a man-of-war to ride in, so that it is somewhat horrid to move along. However, there is earth and grass upon the rock, and a kind of road marked out by the print of feet. . . . It was rather alarming to see Mr Johnson poking his way. He insisted to take a boat and sail into the Pot. We did so. . . . As the entry into the Buller is so narrow that oars cannot be used as you go in, the method taken is to row very hard when you come near it, and give the boat such a rapidity of motion that she glides in...”
It would have been worth seeing the immortal pair from so long ago, yet in a sense still with us, in a boatload of Bullers fishermen shooting into the Bullers pot, while innumerable sea-birds screamed applause! But you can at least go there and see that the “monstrous cauldron” is just as monstrous today (immediately North of Cruden Bay on the main road to Peterhead), while marvelling at the charm of Bullers of Buchan village at the base of the promontory.
A little way inland from Cruden Bay, an oasis in the midst of the treeless, hummocky, wind-swept Buchan plateau, is the prosperous village of Hatton of Cruden. Longhaven, just North of Bullers, is much frequented by rockclimbers, but expert advice is essential before attempting any of its spectacular cliff-climbs. A wide range of sea-birds breed here; their clamour competes with the thunder of the breakers. Here, all the year round, is a natural symphony provided for your delight.
Nearby towns: Ellon, Mintlaw, Peterhead
Nearby villages: Aldie, Auchmacoy, Boddam, Bullers of Buchan, Burnhaven, Collieston, Dens, Fetterangus, Hatton, Inverugie, Kirkton of Logie Buchan, Kirktown of Slains, Longside, Nether Kinmundy, Newburgh, Old Deer, Rora, Schivas, Stuartfield
Have you decided to visit Cruden Bay or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Cruden Bay bed and breakfast (a Cruden Bay B&B or Cruden Bay b and b)
- a Cruden Bay guesthouse
- a Cruden Bay hotel (or motel)
- a Cruden Bay self-catering establishment, or
- other Cruden Bay accommodation